Granite Counters versus Laminated Counters

The Great Countertop Debate: Should Your Kitchen Choose Granite Or Laminate Countertops?

When you think about all the elements of your kitchen, the countertops get the most use by far. Plus, how they look makes a huge impression on the overall appearance of your kitchen. For the last 15 years or so, granite countertops have been the rage, but before that, laminate ruled when it came to countertops.

What is a Granite Countertop?

Granite is a slab of stone that can be found in the surface of the earth. According to treehugger.com, it can be found almost anywhere, but the majority used for modern countertops are mined in countries like India and Brazil. It is then cut to the standard 3/4 inch thick size before being shipped to its destination where it is finished and readied for retail sale.

Granite Countertop vs Laminate

An entirely natural product, granite is not as impermeable as you may think it is. It is porous and may contain natural fissures running throughout. Image Courtesy: ottawahomeservicesgroup.com

An essential part of readying granite for use as a countertop is to seal it for added protection against those possible flaws. It is however durable, and visually stunning as a countertop. Available in a variety of colors and designs, it is easily fit into any kitchen décor.

What is a Laminate Countertop?

Laminate countertops are comprised of man-made materials. The base is constructed using layers of paper and plastic resins which is then covered by a melamine plastic surface. The standard thickness is 1 ½ inches, although according to hgtv.com, they can be produced to be thicker.

Granite Or Laminate - What is laminated countertops

People may still associate laminate with Formica, which is the Holland based company that first invented the material in 1912. Image Courtesy: Formica.Com

Coveted for its versatility in design, heat resistance and easy maintenance, it was not long before the brand became the countertop of choice for the average homeowner.

Laminate countertops have always been an inexpensive way to furnish a kitchen. Once granite entered the picture as a viable choice, home buyers and owners who wanted a higher quality and modern look gratefully embraced the new option causing laminate to quickly fall out of favor.

Granite and Laminate Countertop Side-by-Side Comparison

With innovations in new laminate countertop designs it is beginning to make a comeback as a favorable choice for the kitchen. For homeowners unsure of which product to use in their kitchen here are a few important elements to consider:

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The Cost of Granite Versus Laminate

Price is almost always going to be a major factor when comparing countertop products for the home. When looking at price differences you need to consider all of the variables, such as professional installation and quality of the countertops.

Houselogic.com did a comparison of the cost of countertops using an average kitchen that has installed 30 linear feet of countertops. What they found was that on average, the complete cost when using laminate was $1,575, while slabs of granite would cost approximately $4,400. Of course those prices could change depending on any special design requests for the laminate and where the granite was sourced from.

Additional Pros and Cons of Granite Countertops

When a homeowner upgrades their kitchen with granite countertops, they are adding value to their home. Its longevity and durability continue to make them a desired feature for home buyers.

On the downside, those hidden fissures inside of the stone make them susceptible to cracking if hit hard by a heavy object. It is also a heavy product and usually requires additional support in the cabinetry to support the weight.

Laminate can be constructed with a backsplash, eliminating the need to install tiles or other materials on the walls behind your countertops. This can cut the cost of a kitchen installation or remodel significantly.

Granite Countertop vs Laminate - Back Splash

The major downfall to laminate is its core, which can be destroyed by water damage.

If edges or seams are not sealed properly, or if the laminate is damaged by a large scratch, water can seep in and compromise the materials that make up the countertops base.

And the Winner Is…

When it comes to choosing a countertop for your kitchen, the choice will be made by your personal preferences. For those who grow bored easily, the cheap to change out laminate would be the better option. While those who are more interested in longevity and aesthetic appeal would opt for granite.

Whichever you choose and for whatever the reason, both offer a large variety in colors and design. This versatility will allow you to customize the kitchen of your dreams with a countertop that meets your specific needs and unique sense of style.

To learn more about Granite Countertops and alternative options,  give us a call (727-265-1100)!